You have to leave the world behind in order to be of some service to it… (Katha Upanishads Week 11)
~ by Adele
- Mahatma Gandhi
What’s it been like being you the past week? Would you want to be anyone else? Is here okay?
“You’ve really got the best thing going on by being you”, Steve says. There is no one else more suited to you for your own enlightenment. You have absolutely anything you could ever want right now for your own ultimate growth.
Of course…for this growth to take place, and for our wish to work with what we’ve got to come forth, we must be our own number one cheerleader. We could read all of the scriptures, attend countless Satsang, breathe and backbend ourselves into oblivion…but unless we bring the teachings into ourselves and make them our own, they won’t truly sink into our hearts.
We must connect with the teachings in such a way that we can let the universal message come through in our own unique voice. Otherwise, we are just being ‘told’ what to do. (And nobody likes that!). These teachings are naturally flowing in from the universe it’s very self…from a higher place that will connect to the higher self within you. So the higher self in you must start to become the speaker, the supporter and the butt-kicker to the ‘little’ you. The other voice that you choose to follow. This is the wise one that knows that what I’m doing in any given moment isn’t always good for my ultimate evolution. But my goodness, doesn’t the ‘little’ one put up such a fight! The saying is true…old habits really do die hard. Our job then, is to muster all of our power, all of our courage, to be behind this voice of our higher self, to agree with it, to listen to it – even if it takes everything we have. Of course, it gets easier the more we choose to go with this one, but it is undeniably tough work. Which is GOOD.
Not only is this the number one thing that you can do for your own evolution, but it is also the number one thing that you can do for the evolution of the world. We do not need to go out there and ‘sort the world out’. In fact, we can’t. We can only, and only ever take care of our own energy, and simply be an example.
We discussed tonight about our human tendency to hold strong opinions on things, even ‘good’ strong opinions being a hindrance to us. We can protest and fight and call on people to be better as much as we like, but it is not our business to wake other people up. It leaves us feeling powerless and frustrated with the world. We actually have to leave the world behind a little bit in order to be of some service to it. It’s doing its own thing – we of course wish it well, but it’s not our concern. The only concern we need to have is with ourselves. And raising our own energy is a huge service to the world. It is the ONLY way to serve the world. If every single person focused on raising their own energy, everything else would naturally transform.
Personally, I feel I’ve learnt this massively on one level. I’ve realised through years of trying, (and I have really, really tried!) that it is not my job to ‘fix’ anyone. And I don’t want to either anymore. Sometimes, if we’ve been on a bit of a journey ourselves and we’ve done some work, we can feel like we could help others by giving them some tools that have helped us. Of course we can, and this is beautiful, but it isn’t ever our responsibility whether someone chooses to do the work themselves or not. Although it seems genuinely loving, it is actually the total opposite to make someone your ‘project’. You can’t ‘fix’ anyone, you can only love and support them and wish them the best. But we have to let them go through their own process and ultimately, they have to do the work themselves. And thank goodness for that too, because making YOU your own project takes enough of your energy, right?! :)
Tonight, we reach the last couple of paragraphs of the invaluable teachings of the Katha Upanishad. Yama closes his teachings with words of loving wisdom. The first of the three reads:
"When all desires that surge in the heart Are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal. When all the knots that strangle the heart Are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal. This sums up the teaching of the scriptures."
Yama is sharing the journey that is before us all. We, one day at a time, transcend our desires, and our grip on life to continuously break open the heart. Doing this is very simple but not easy work. We go through the stages we’ve learnt so far, of first accepting whatever is, and then going THROUGH everything that it brings up in us. There is no easy way out of this one, for the ‘going through’ is an essential part of the transcendence. The ‘going through’ part brings up all the nitty gritty pieces within us and those are our assignments – to open to those parts. Those angry, jealous, judging, clinging, panicking, guilty, lonely, whatever else pieces are all the seeds that we get given to work with and they’re there for reasons. They are in fact always opportunities for our own growth if we can keep enough space from them to see that. The closer we are connected to that voice of our higher self by raising our energy, the further we will be from these. The more we drop our desires and our demands on life, the more we can open our hearts to what life has to offer. And your Bhakti is taking you there.
The second paragraph:
"From the heart there radiate a hundred And one vital tracks. One of them rises To the crown of the head. This way leads To immortality, the others to death."
This one explains that whenever we surrender our grasp, and we transcend a situation, our energy rises UP towards this one track to the experience of immortality. The world will always be challenging us, and trying to pull us into its unfair mesh. It won’t stop. We could get mad at it and go nowhere, or we could turn the experiences inside and move UP.(Of course, we help nudge it along with a little yoga and breathing!)
And the last paragraph….like all good stories, ends with love (of course!)
Yama lets us in on the secret. He says:
"The Lord of Love, not larger than the thumb, Is ever enshrined in the hearts of all. Draw him clear out of the physical sheath, As one draws the stalk from the munja grass. Know thyself to be pure and immortal! Know thyself to be pure and immortal."
We can pretend we know what ‘munja’ grass is (imagine peeling back a blade of grass to reveal the fresh bright green piece within!), and envision this Lord of Love residing in our own very heart. Always there, ever present. A smiley little Lord, his chubby cheeks flushed red with the colour of love! I’m sure it could also be a Goddess of Love too, whatever you feel it as. Sat right there, on the rightful throne tucked safely deep in your heart, waiting for you to break them free.
This one is present in the heart of everybody… and we can seek him out by continually choosing to keep opening, until the heart bursts open with his love. YOUR love.
- Hanuman, Rishikesh
So can see him? Can you feel this one?
Go out into your outer world and see if you can find this one within. Even if you have abandoned him in the past, he has never abandoned you. He is right there, waiting for you. His little face will light up when he sees you searching for him, and he will say:
“There you are. I’ve been waiting for you your whole life.
The Katha Upanishad Omm Yogis, welcome back to the Living Wisdom blog. At the cusp twixt Summer and Autumn, it is time to go out into the fields of wisdom and harvest another crop, which has been lovingly cultivated and tended to by countless generations of Sages and Seekers. This time we must sharpen our scythes for the reaping, as the Grim Guru, Lord Yama (deity of death), dispels the darkness of our ignorance with His uncompromising truth and teachings. We’ll be taking an enlightening journey through the Katha Upanishad over the coming months and this weeks blog is by way of introduction to this ancient fable which stands proud amongst the vedantic canon of India and which carries sapient weight across the ages and indeed across the continents. So the set up in brief … Nachiketa is our hero in this legendary story, a young boy and the son of a man of some wealth and public standing. His father is known for his charitable giving within the community and is someth
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